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Study and Theory/

Stanley Maron

Sukkot is coming

Maayan Zvi, 1989

Sukkot is coming and again the question is raised: What does this festival have to do with us?

It is the midst of the cotton harvest but it is difficult to establish a festival on this crop, which has been so disappointing in recent years.  Cereals are no longer the main crop, if at all. It is said: “so that they will know for generations that the children of Israel sat in tabernacles when I took them out of Egypt”. But Passover is the festival to remember leaving Egypt and there is no point in composing a second Haggadah, so what do we do?

I have an idea that we could develop the festival of Sukkot as a “Festival for Pioneers”, and it will be in memory of the pioneers who lived in tabernacles and tents, worked at hard labour, and built this country. A branch of a palm tree will symbolize the pioneering spirit in renewal of the crops such as the date.

A branch of a citrus tree (and not an imported etrog) will symbolize the development of agriculture for export.

A branch of a tree with thick boughs (and not the myrtle) will symbolize the forestation in Israel. A branch of the willow will symbolize drying out the swamps and development of the water system in general and irrigation in particular.

Can such a festival find its place in the present reality in Israel and the kibbutz?

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